Experiencing an injury is terrifying.
I know, because it happened to me.
I was in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on Halloween night, eight years ago. There was a huge party held in a large industrial warehouse with multiple interactive exhibits. One of them was a net that spanned all the way to the roof acting as a massive hammock that people were relaxing on.
“Let’s climb that!” My friend Kal exclaimed.
“I don’t know. I’m pretty tired.” I sheepishly replied.
“Don’t be a wuss! Let’s go!”
Feeling egged on, I took his challenge and we climbed up the net. The only problem was there were too many people, and I had to go higher and higher to find space. By the time I had climbed to the very top of the net, there was a resounding THWIP! Suddenly its ropes became limp in my hands and I went into freefall. Before I could react, my body struck concrete, and pain arced up my spine like a bolt of lightning.
Instantly I thought I was paralyzed.
I lay on the ground, unable to move, screaming in pain. Kal was at my side, trying to help but not knowing what to do. Meanwhile, the club owners had come over but weren’t concerned about me, but instead yearned to clear the scene so that they could resume the party. In fact, they didn’t even speak directly to me or even try. Kal called an ambulance, and when medical aid arrived they put me on a stretcher and hauled me to the hospital. I waited for hours before the doctor could see me. Medical assistants x-rayed my spine and found that I had fractured my coccyx, which is a fancy way of saying tailbone.
It was painful and I had to spend several weeks recuperating. During this time, a college friend told me that his father was a personal injury lawyer and that he would take my case. Trusting my friend, I agreed.
My friend’s father had a law office in Manhattan and a house in Brooklyn. He had the outward appearance of success and most importantly he was a family connection. I felt like I had made the right decision. I was wrong.
It took two years to go through my case. And in those two years, I received almost no updates and little information. I rarely followed up, but when I did, my friend’s father expressed annoyance. Worse, he encouraged me to see doctors who told me little about my condition but just wanted me to keep coming in so that they could collect fees when the case was settled. They were not invested in fixing me at all. Everything about the situation seemed exceptionally shady.
One day, I had had enough, and I went to pay a personal visit to “my lawyer” in the city. It was the first time I’d been to his office, and I was utterly shocked. His office was a complete mess. Towers of paper, nearly as tall as a person were scattered throughout the small workplace. He was a hoarder. When I stepped into his personal office, it was just the same. In fact, there was no place for a visitor to sit! I stood in his office, shocked, and annoyed with myself for not having taken more time to select my lawyer, especially when we were this deep into the case. However, he assured me, that things were moving along, and everything would be fine.
Six months later, he asked me to come to his house – the defendants had offered a settlement. When I got to his home, he slipped me a piece of paper with a settlement number that was insultingly low. I told him so – and he insisted that I take it.
“But I have chronic back pain and am in my 20’s. I feel pain every day.”
“So take an Aspirin!” He yelled.
At that point, I became furious and spoke with cold precision. “Don’t you realize … the more I earn, the more you earn.” His whole family was standing around him, including my friend, and they were nodding their heads in embarrassed agreement.
The next day he called me and obtained triple the initial fee that was first offered to me. At the time it seemed like a lot of money, but it wasn’t. In reality, my injury was three times the final amount. But what did I know? I was a kid in his twenties – and I figured this injury would eventually fade away. The pain would probably only last a few more years. Again, I was wrong.
It’s been eight years since the injury, and I still get pain from it. From my early twenties through today, I’ve had to do special stretches to help manage the discomfort. In other words, the pain is chronic.
If I could turn back time, I would’ve done my research and gotten lawyers who really knew what they were doing. I would’ve signed with a firm that was actually looking out for my interests, recognizing that if I was their client, our interests are mutual.
For the brief time that I’ve worked with Legal One Law Group, APC, I immediately admired how organized and dedicated they are to getting the most for their clients. Understanding their needs and fighting for what they deserve. They are in it for the long haul, not for the quick buck. Because in the end, life is short, and an injury could make it even shorter, or adversely affect its quality. They know this, they care, and they’ll do what it takes to safeguard their clients, getting the best treatment they need and with proper compensation.
It’s one thing to be injured, it’s another to be cheated. The team at Legal One Law Group, APC will make sure that neither happens to their clients.